Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23 - Advent Devotional 2013

Monday, 23 December 2013

There's a company that makes t-shirts with spiritual themes. One of them shows an airplane being flown by a frantic pilot. The shirt says, "If God is your co-pilot, switch seats."

That's a state that's simple, but sort of sums up our struggle. We often talk about how faith is hard. But a certain amount of faith is really not difficult at all. The Gallup Organization conducted a survey that consistently reports that about 94 percent of Americans believe in God. Making God your co-pilot is not easy.  Like this:

God, you keep an eye on the horizon and the dials and gauges which I fly the plane. But you be ready in case a storm comes up or we lose an engine or the wing falls off, because I'm gonna need you to save the day. Of course, when we have blue skies, I'll just take over again.

That's not hard. What's hard is to relinquish the wheel. At the Annunciation, Mary gives us the blueprint for a different kind of faith - the hard kind.

Mary may have had many ideas and expectations about what her life would be like. We all do. We knew she was expecting to marry Joseph. And then this angel shows up with a message from God that lays out a whole different plan for her future. To say this was going to complicate her life is putting it lightly. While Scripture talked a lot about the coming of the Messiah, it didn't include instructions for being the Messiah's mom. Mary is the ultimate example of a life yielded to God's purpose. Mary puts God in the driver's seat. But how do we live out faith today, and walk in submission of God? The answer begins in Mary's story, an act of grace that has the power to transform our lives. We need to remember that Jesus didn't come just to accept the shepherds' worship or the Magi's gifts. We need to see the cross as well as the manger.

Christ said to Martha in John 11: "I am the resurrection and the life. You who believe in me will live even though you die, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" We all want to surrender our lives, to let go and let God, to turn over the wheel. It is in answering Christ's question that we find the confidence to do this.

There are times when we wonder whether we matter to God, whether God really knows who we are, or cares. God responds to our doubt and our feelings of inadequacy by saying this: "Come live with me at my house. I have prepared a place for you! It's a great house, too. And I'm not talking a two-week lease - it's forever! And, not only that, you can invite all your friends, too!"

Believe it. Switch seats. Follow Mary's example, and make God the pilot in your life. Let go of the wheel, and grab hold of Christmas with all your strength.

Source: REMinistries, the Internet outreach of Rich Miller of Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Photo: Airport Delay a Gift From God

View all Advent Devotional 2013 posts here.

© 2013, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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